17 Jun 2019
The Scottish Government recently provided an update on issues affecting the private rented sector. Their latest update discusses letting agent registration; important information about landlord registration and Houses of Multiple Occupation.
The processing of applications to the Scottish Letting Agent Register remains a key priority for the Scottish Government’s registration team. They have confirmed that 673 letting agents have now been admitted to the Register.
The government added that a number of applications are still to be processed. They advised their registration team is working hard to process outstanding applications as quickly as possible, however, they are keen to stress their priority is to ensure the assessment of applicants is robust and meaningful.
If people wish to check whether an agent has been approved to be added to the register they can do so at:
If users cannot locate an agent, they can contact the registration team directly at email@example.com who will confirm if an agent has submitted an application or not. If an agent has not at least applied to the register and continue to let properties, they are doing so illegally.
Work continues to identify those agents who have failed to make an application to the register. To date, the Scottish Government advise they have investigated, or are in the process of investigating, 126 businesses suspected of carrying out letting agency work without registration and have issued 92 compliance letters and 1 power to obtain notice.
They welcome reports of suspected unregistered letting agents using the above email address.
The Scottish Government also highlighted two important changes relating to landlord registration.
Landlord registration fees have increased from 11 June 2019 as follows:
This follows on from the removal of the 10% discount in December 2018, although other available discounts remain unchanged.
In addition, new regulations, due to come into force on 16 September 2019, the government require landlords to provide more detailed information about compliance with their legal duties in relation to property management and condition. The draft regulations can be found at:
The Scottish Government is currently seeking views on adding new categories to the definition of an HMO in relation to accommodation that contract and transient workers stay in when working away from home. The consultation is open until 8 July 2019. You can find out more information about the proposed changes and how to respond at:https://www.gov.scot/publications/houses-multiple-occupation-hmo-consultation-adding-new-categories-definition-hmo/pages/6/